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Bus accident forces closure I-84 in Orange County | #schoolsaftey


Two people were killed and dozens injured, including five critically, Thursday afternoon, when a commercial bus carrying mostly high school students tumbled down a 50-foot ravine while traveling west on Interstate 84 in Wawayanda in Orange County, Gov. Kathy Hochul and State Police said.

A faulty front tire likely contributed to the crash, though that’s still under investigation, Hochul said Thursday at a news conference in the State Police barracks in Middletown.

The bus was carrying 40 high school students, mostly freshmen, from the Farmingdale Union Free School District on Long Island to a band camp in Pennsylvania, and four adults, police said.

The two adults who died were the high school’s band director, Gina Pellettiere, 43, of Massapequa, and a retired teacher Beatrice Ferrari, 77, of Farmingdale.

“Imagine the fear, the screams in the aftermath, when these high school students, many of them freshmen, were surrounded by this chaos. But they endured, they were strong,” Hochul said Thursday afternoon.

She priased the rapid response of first responders to the scene.

Injured passengers were receiving medical care at several hospitals around the area, officials said. Five people were listed in critical condition.

The bus was one of six in a caravan carrying students from Farmingdale High School to a band camp in Greeley in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Hochul said personnel from the New York State Police and the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services personnel were assisting with the response.

The National Transportation Safety Board, in coordination with the State Police, is sending a team to investigate the rollover crash. The team will arrive Friday morning.

A section of I-84 in Orange County was closed because of the crash, which occurred around 1:12 p.m. Westbound lanes remain closed. Motorists were advised to use alternate routes.

Eastbound lanes reopened around 5 p.m., according to County Emergency Services, though delays were still expected.

Students on the other buses were to stop off at SUNY Orange County Community College for a break before heading back to Long Island.



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